Saturday, 14 November 2009

Wivenhoe, Essex

University Town: pop. 10,000
Timeline: Started November ’08,
became official April ’09, planning to unleash
in the spring

Transition Wivenhoe run a ‘seeds for change’ over the summer at local events, giving out custom packaged sunflower seeds in return for a donation. No flower could perhaps signify Transition so well - bold, useful and composite. There are 9 people in the core group (two of whom have done the Transition training) and they have put most of their energy in the past year into awareness raising, showing a series of films, building their mailing list (200) by attending lots of local events and making links with other groups including 2 residents associations, the local football club, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society at the University of Essex and the local Green Party. They enjoy good relationships with the Town and Borough council. Some of the core group previously worked on the community-led Town Plan in 2008 which led to starting the Transition project.

One of the most innovative creations is TW’s bike-powered cinema which has been used for screening The Story of Stuff and Crude Awakening so far. They took it to an Eco Schools conference which fascinated the young participants. They have strong links with nearby Transition (Stour) Valley (whose communications group gave advice on how to set up a blog) and are currently applying to the Low Carbon Communities Challenge. As well as regular steering group meetings TW run Transition & Green drinks at the local pub, the Greyhound. A recent fruit picking walk prompted ideas for a food group, though this has yet to start.

Like many Transition initiatives, managing the balance between doing stuff and taking time to embed a deep understanding of the issues of peak oil, climate change and to learn about permaculture in an already busy life, is a key challenge. They are thinking about unleashing in the spring or summer.

Contact Person:
Jo Wheatley
Tel: (01206) 827 649

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